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A prominent London Psychologist seems to have taken his own life, causing stunned disbelief amongst his colleagues and patients. His teenage daughter refuses to believe it was suicide as this would go against all of the principles her father stood for, therefore she is convinced it was murder. She enlists the help of a former patient to try to get to the truth. The truth, however, turns out to be both surprising and disturbing. Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
While on the beach, young Catherine is telling Alex that she knows the names of her father's patients. We hear her say she knows "four" names, but her lips show she is saying the word "five". Likely, "four" was dubbed over "five" upon the decision to remove Patricia Neal's character from the story. See more »
A taut, brooding mystery, with Stephen Boyd well-cast in the lead.
A British psychologist has apparently committed suicide, but his teenage daughter is convinced it was murder and asks one of his patients (Stephen Boyd, as an expatriate American journalist) to investigate. Somber, brooding, introspective tale, with Boyd well-cast in the lead; elegantly written (worthwhile just for the dialogue), and moodily shot in black and white. Regrettably, the film is inaccurate in its portrayal of psychiatry; despite what the script says, people suffering from paranoid schizophrenia are no more likely to be murderers than anyone else, and people with schizophrenia cannot hide their illness as though they were undercover spies. That small suspension of disbelief aside, the film ruminates on all sorts of interesting ideas that fit together like inlaid wood.
The film is enhanced by an excellent cast, including Jack Hawkins, Richard Attenborough, and Diane Cilento as the three suspects, the now-legendary Judi Dench in her first credited role, and the much under-rated child actress, Pamela Franklin, as the psychologist's daughter. In particular, though, Attenborough's performance as an awkward, insecure art dealer stands out as a remarkable contrast to his performance in another film of 1964--"Guns at Batasi," in which he plays a tough, almost indestructible British Army sergeant.
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